China unwilling to allow foreign firms to practice local law

August 15, 2012 Chinese officials remain unwilling to allow foreign lawyers to practice local law in China, despite pressure from international firms.

There are currently more than 200 large foreign firms operating in China, and demand for foreign legal assistance is high since relatively few Chinese lawyers have advanced expertise in international transactions. But foreign lawyers are not permitted to practice Chinese law and they are unable to make court appearances or give advice on local rules.

As for Chinese lawyers, foreign clients are often reluctant to hire them, since they are not bound by the client-attorney privilege.

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